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Things Are Looking Up


Construction cranes now loom over campus — and more are coming — each emblematic of how high we set our sights. One marks the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, future home of high-tech classrooms for a digital generation. Another heralds a four-star hotel and conference center, anchor of a new innovation district where students, faculty and startups will design the future..

At the ground level, new people, programs and facilities energize the campus.

This year, we welcome almost 4,000 freshmen and 2,000 transfers. They are our most impressively credentialed and diverse group ever, hailing from across the U.S. and a dozen nations. We welcome 39 new tenure-track faculty and senior researchers, as well as four new deans.

Innovative programs enhance our educational excellence. The First-Year Innovation and Research Experiences Program is expanding with five new faculty-led research streams, reaching some 400 freshmen. New faculty-created programs respond to student needs, such as digital media studies, five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s of arts programs and new minors. New global classrooms use technology to connect students in real time with peers around the globe.

We go farther and faster with others than we can alone. In four years, our partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore has yielded 70 joint faculty appointments, $70 million in joint research funding, and joint educational, research and innovation programs. The new Advanced Research Computing Center, jointly operated with Johns Hopkins University, will provide us with one of the most powerful supercomputers in academe.

Last year, the University of Maryland received a record $200 million in philanthropy thanks to the efforts of deans, faculty and University Relations staff. About 70 percent was given to academics and 15 percent to student aid.

Our researchers generated a record $550 million in external grants, placing us among the top 10 U.S. research universities without a medical center. This is a tribute to faculty excellence and hard work, supported by our Division of Research. This summer, the arts and humanities college received $1.2 million for digital scholarship on the African-American experience, while public health school researchers received $5 million to detect biological weapons production.